Get your man in the kitchen!
December 17, 2015
There’s no doubt that our fellow brethren need to take better care of their health and wellbeing. Many men suffer from poor diet, lack of participation in sport and exercise (no, watching the footy doesn’t count!), and high alcohol consumption and smoking, all major risk factors for developing certain types of cancer as well as diabetes and heart disease. Many of us can testify to consuming too many fatty meals and too many ‘beverages’ in addition to being sedentary. In Australia the evidence confirms that many men’s less-than-ideal lifestyle choices are leading to serious health concerns. We blokes are more at risk than ever of developing heart disease; according to the National Heart Foundation, 153 Australian men suffer a heart attack every single day. That’s a mind-boggling statistic! And the high rates of other nasties like cancer, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease and mental health issues are very disturbing.
I believe that it’s time for men to take charge of their health. It’s time to eat better, drink less and move more. That’s why I have embarked on a new initiative called ‘Get Your Man in the Kitchen’.
It’s a campaign that is intended to inspire men to get into the kitchen and prepare healthier meals. It is simply centered on empowering men to cook more of the foods they enjoy, and providing them with the knowledge and skills to enable them to do this in their own kitchens.
Fellas, you don’t need to be Masterchefs; just be willing to have a go at giving your meals a healthier spin. The key to following a healthy balanced diet is not depriving yourself of your favourite foods. It’s just a matter of making small, but meaningful adjustments to your diet and lifestyle that can lead to a significant reduction in risk factors for disease later in life. Manly meals such as baked spuds, spaghetti bolognaise, steak and three veg (the quintessential Aussie meal) as well as chicken parmigiana are all on the menu. The key is to tweak them so they are healthier than the original version. And this is not hard to do. Here are some helpful tips: try using low-fat cooking methods such as baking, grilling or BBQing; use reduced-fat dairy and lean meats; and load up on extra vegies wherever possible.
To get involved in the ‘Get your man in the kitchen’ campaign, simply get in the kitchen and give cooking a go.
Ladies, you can also encourage the men in your life to showcase their culinary skills on social media. Wearing a silly apron is optional. Just be sure to use the hashtag #getyourmaninthekitchen when posting. And if you’re ready and willing, please share your recipes with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be launching a new website shortly, which will be a platform for men created by men. It will include a large database of manly recipes that any man can easily whip up at home. See my recipe below for ‘Peanut butter, banana and blueberry coulis porridge’ for some brekkie inspiration.
Happy cooking, Gentleman!
Mayver’s Peanut Butter, Banana and Blueberry Coulis Porridge
What you’ll need:
• 1 cup oats
• 2 cups of low fat milk
• 2 medium chopped bananas
• 2 tbsp. Mayver’s peanut butter – crunchy, smooth or super seed 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
• 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
• ½ teaspoon of sugar
• Bring milk and oats to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and add banana.
• Cook mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until the porridge thickens (porridge will coat the spoon when ready).
• Stir through peanut butter.
• In a separate pan mix blueberries, balsamic vinegar and sugar, and simmer on a low heat.
• Spoon porridge into a bowl. Top with blueberry coulis and serve.
Joel Feren is a Melbourne-based Accredited Practising Dietitian with an interest in men’s health. He’s a half-decent cook and peanut butter lover. Find his website here and you can keep up with him on his Instagram as well!